Violence and nonviolence is not the same today as it was in the past. The image above shows an example of the mindset people have today. This image shows a man in a black body suit holding another mans head to look away from the homeless man lying on the ground. The homeless man is leaning against a piece of cardboard that is leaning against a building made of marble bricks, that is clearly not his own. The man in the black bodysuit is a physical version of our fears. The homeless man represents the reality that we need to face.
Fear has always played a big part in History. History is not just a subject in school, but a topic in life. If you were to ask somebody about what they first learned in History you are guaranteed to get an answer including Martin Luther King Jr. He is known as the king of nonviolence, and he has made many changes with this method. “Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home.” This is from his Beyond Vietnam speech in New York, NY on April 4, 1967. This specific quote was interesting to me because he was basically saying the true reality of what was happening was not revealed to him until the situation got worse. But as people learned in early History classes, the time in which MLK was alive the level of nonviolent protests was popular and favorable for the future which is now our present time.
Speeches and sharing ideas are some of the great ways nonviolence was supported during MLK marches and meetings. Today we still hear stories about history but ideas and thoughts are more vaguely and strongly made aware to others as individuals today. The way we talk and the specifics of what we talk about are said angrily. Our views on situations that happened in the past can be expressed strongly enough to change the tone of a story and make the person listening understand in a negative way resulting in the butterfly effect of whisper down the lane. Some might say stories can never contain the full truth. Others might say truth is build off of stories, vice versa. In a way “truth” and “story” can be the same and different at the same time.
The same way stories can be ingrained in our society militarism is also ingrained in our society in almost every way possible. By contrasting how most people deal with war today and in the past it is easy to see that people are way more aggressive and violent today. We would rather take action to make a faster change than to sit around and wait for a “maybe” kind of answer. Militarism is ingrained in our society as a way to show pride in our country. It is also seen as a way of protecting what is yours, as well as hurting what is not. Depending on the type of individual you are you will fall into at least one of these three categories. When I watch older movies that include parents watching their children be sent off to war, they go to “serve” their country. Today the reason would be to fight for what is right, not to serve the country. Some go into the field to have the power and authority to kill just because. We try to use nonviolence as a form of protesting today but some thoughts do not start with this.
Nonviolence was a very large and powerful way of protesting in the past. Our people today brush the thought of nonviolence out of their minds with no reflex to the cold chill it brings to some. “A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.” I believe this is what happened to change the way we protest for change. I believe that we questioned the fairness and justice and did not like what we seen. This resulted in a hidden revolution. The revolution included switching from nonviolent tactics to violent ones. Because people today question everything to make sure they are being treated equally there is no doubt in my mind to know that we will never again be a society rooted in nonviolence.
How does war and violence change people? The real question to ask should be “How does it not change people ?” War has been a part of my everyday life even when I did not know it. My country was at war, my family, and even myself. I realized how my attitude has changed over time as well. I would react calmly to situations as a young child but now, if I know something doesn't feel right, I will stand up for others and myself. War and violence has not changed people in this generation because we are so accustomed to it being in our lives. It all depends on the time frame you include or talk about.
"Beyond Vietnam**." Beyond Vietnam**. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_beyond_vietnam/>.
"Fighting with Nonviolence." Scilla Elworthy:. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <https://www.ted.com/talks/scilla_elworthy_fighting_with_non_violence?language=en#t-314454>.